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Texas Man Paralyzed by Police Hires Ben Crump

Authorities continue to prosecute the 41-year-old black man they paralyzed


June 21, 2023


BEAUMONT – Christopher Shaw, the 41-year-old black man paralyzed by Beaumont Police Officer James Thomas Gillen while Shaw was handcuffed in custody at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility (JCCF) for public intoxication on June 12, 2021, has hired renowned national civil rights attorney Ben Crump to hold Gillen, the City of Beaumont and Corrhealth, LLC accountable not only for breaking Shaw’s neck, but neglecting the injuries that left him paralyzed from the chest down.


Despite assaulting Shaw and paralyzing him, Jefferson County authorities have continued to prosecute Shaw for Assault of a Public Official and Misdemeanor Public Intoxication. Shaw’s attorneys maintain that he never assaulted anyone.


Crump recently represented Randy Cox,the 36-year-old Black man who was paralyzed while being transported handcuffed and without a seat belt in the back of a police van in New Haven, Connecticut. The City of New Haven settled that lawsuit earlier this month for $45 million.


According to the federal lawsuit filed in July against Gillen, the City of Beaumont and Corrhealth, LLC, Shaw was handcuffed and restrained by deputies at the Jefferson County jail when Gillen “body slammed” him onto the jail’s concrete floor. Shaw, who posed no physical threat to Gillen or any of the officers present, broke his neck as a result of the attack. The Beaumont Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff have refused to release video of the attack despite repeated calls from the media and the public.


“The Beaumont Police and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are prosecuting the man they paralyzed and they’re hiding the truth from the public,” said Crump. “If this were a bank robbery, a hit and run or even a convenience store hold up, they would have released this video two years ago. The only difference is that, in this case, the suspect is wearing a badge.”


Later, Shaw was left lying on the floor clearly paralyzed while he begged for help from Corrhealth medical personnel at the jail. Those calls for help were ignored and Shaw was left lying in a pool of urine and feces.


Shaw and community leaders were joined by religious and civil rights leader Bishop William Barber last year in calling on the United States Department of Justice to investigate the 2021 assault and the Beaumont Police Department.


Click HERE to view a copy of the federal lawsuit and pictures of Christopher Shaw.





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